Euphemism in Cross-Cultural Communication

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Cross-Cultural Communication

Vol. 8, No. 6, 2012, pp. 66-70 DOI:10.3968/j.ccc.1923670020120806.1356

ISSN 1712-8358[Print] ISSN 1923-6700[Online]

Cross-Cultural Contrastive Study of English and Chinese Euphemisms

WANG Xiaoling[a]; ZHANG Meng[a],*; DONG Hailin[a]

College of Foreign Languages, Hebei United University, West Xinhua Road, Tangshan, China. * Corresponding author. Supported by Study on Application of Cross-Cultural Teaching Concept in New Standard College English Teaching; Key Project of Ministry of Education for the Year 2010, the Eleventh Five-year Plan for Educational Sciences (Grant No. gpa105030). Received 18 August 2012; accepted 7 December 2012


The use of euphemisms is a common linguistic phenomenon in all languages. By using euphemisms, people can indirectly and politely express their ideas, without making the listeners feel awkward and unpleasant. As a mirror of culture, the generation and development of euphemisms are closely related to culture. Euphemisms in English and Chinese are also abundant, but they have both differences and similarities in expressions and cultural connotations. The cross-cultural contrastive study of English and Chinese euphemisms can help people correctly understand the deep meaning in English and Chinese languages and overcome the obstacles in crosscultural communications. Key words: Euphemisms; Culture; Cross-culture; Contrastive study WANG Xiaoling, ZHANG Meng, DONG Hailin (2012). CrossCultural Contrastive Study of English and Chinese Euphemisms. CrossCultural Communication, 8 (6), 66-70. Available from: http://www. DOI:

“speech”, so the word “euphemism” literally means “word of good omen”. Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics (2000) defines “euphemism” as “A kind of expressing method which aims at making people...
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